Tech law GEEK


I blog because I can

A career-limiting move? I'm thrilled I can move

Tech Central Station has an update today on an Egyptian blogger (and former law student) jailed in Alexandria for speaking his mind.

Kareem Amer was remanded to over a month in prison for allegedly "defaming the President of Egypt" and "highlighting inappropriate aspects that harm the reputation of Egypt." Where did Amer commit these supposed felonies? On his weblog. ***

Regimes accustomed to control have struggled to respond. In Tunisia, web publisher Zouhair Yahyaoui was dragged from an Internet café by security forces and tortured into revealing his site's password after he posted a quiz mocking President Zinedine Ben Ali. In Bahrain, the Information Ministry blocked the blog of entrepreneur Mahmoud Al-Yousif for covering a political scandal. In Iran, authorities arrested student Mojtaba Saminejad after he condemned the arrest of several fellow bloggers and "insulted the Supreme Leader."

Some people wonder why I would willingly call myself a geek and publish information about my life, my interests, and maybe even some politically incorrect opinions from time to time. I do it because I know there are too many women in the world just like me who literally can't without risking jail, torture, or even death for themselves or their relatives.

I can be serious, I can be silly, and I can be geeky. I'm sure I've probably missed out on some opportunities because I said something somebody didn't like. In my world, that's a small price to pay for the luxury of being able to speak freely in the first place.

Why do I blog? Because I can.

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On the internet...

everybody knows I'm an elf.


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Have you tried the new Blogger?

I chose Blogger as my publishing platform a couple years ago for several reasons, but one thing that has been noticeably absent compared to other popular alternatives is being able to categorize my posts. I finally moved to Blogger beta this weekend (one of the smoothest migrations I've ever seen) where they now support post "labels" to help filter by topic as well as chronologically. Now with one of the top items on my wish list granted, I will gradually be adding appropriate labels for my old posts.

In the meantime, if you've been debating how and when to start blogging yourself, just start doing it.


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Angry client kills 2 Chicago IP lawyers

I thought last year's patent lawyer murder-suicide was a rarity. This year, not only did we have the "vigilante" patent lawyer allegedly killing his neighbor, but today this week we also hear of a Chicago patent lawyer's client killing two attorneys and another firm employee before being fatally shot himself by police.

[the client] told witnesses before he was shot that he had been cheated over a toilet he had invented for use in trucks

Is it just a coincidence there were patent attorneys involved in these cases? Granted, today's event is different because it's the client who apparently "snapped," but you still wouldn't expect to hear that happen over a patent case.

It will be interesting to find out how much $ was at stake and whether the attorney(s) involved had any indication the client was capable of something like this.

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Technology in Houston Real Estate

or What Big Mama's kids learn

The Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) has an award-winning website for many good reasons. Over the past couple weeks I've had the pleasure of sitting in on some very informative sessions covering the use of technology in the real estate sales process. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of information and tools available not only to HAR members, but also to consumers directly from the HAR website.

I know from my own experience that the Houston real estate market benefits from having

the largest individual membership trade association in Houston, and the second largest local Association/Board of REALTORS® in the United States.

--See InsideHAR

HAR's technology group provides many resources to its members that automate much of the tedious work associated with marketing and locating properties, both commercial and residential. With over 50,000 listings active in the greater Houston area alone, one can only imagine how difficult it would be to manage that much information without a centralized system compiled by participating brokers and agents. Combine that with the use of eNeighborhoods/Wyldfyre, ZipForms and DocuSign to facilitate (virtually) paperless transactions, and Houston buyers surely become the most informed and involved market participants no matter where they are in the world.

And don't be fooled by news of depressed real estate markets in other parts of the country, Houston is still doing very well:

While national numbers have shown weakness, Houston is being highlighted as one of the remaining positive markets across the country.
-- See Greater Houston Area Redefines A Healthy Housing Market

So where does Big Mama come in? Big Mama is Ms. Desiree Savory, self-professed tech nerd and instructor for many of HAR's tech-focused continuing education courses. She, along with HAR staff members Marsha Mitchell, Edward Moncur, and Nathan Goble, help HAR members learn tips & tricks for optimizing their use of technology tools already available to members. And they need to learn these tools to stay competitive because, as the HAR web statistics show, more and more consumers are finding out about them, too, just by visting

When I started law school just a few short years ago, I was frustrated with how slowly it seemed the real estate market was adopting new technologies. Now, I am amazed at how much progress has been made. This can only benefit buyers (especially from out of town) and sellers more. And you can be sure it won't take long before they will expect legal professionals to operate just as efficiently.


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